Monday, February 4, 2013

Einstein on Food & Wine at MOSI

This past Saturday night, I had the wonderful opportunity of attending Einstein on Food & Wine at MOSI, presented by ABC Fine wine and Spirts. My Mother was my date and she was in complete awe all night long. I loved watching the event through her eyes, as she has never been to an event like this.
Upon walking in, I knew we were in for a real treat.  Three floors of endless food, wine, spirits and beer. What else could one ask for. We received our wine glasses and headed back to the VIP suite to meet up with my friend Katie and her husband. The entrance of the VIP suite was stunning. Trees with lights were the center piece of the floor.This photo does not do justice.
Speaking of VIP's, Fabio Viviani of Bravo's Top Chef was the guest judge of the event. He was one of the most down to earth people I have met in a very long time. You can tell he really respects his fans and fame has not gotten to his head. This made me happy as Fabio is still my favorite contender in Top Chef history.
Megan, Fabio, Katie
There were over 50 wines, spirits and beers were available everywhere you looked. Talk about a little drink of heaven! Even with the countless vodka's out there, I was very surprised to see so many new players on the market. I found another centerpiece, how about this one - floating wine glasses. LOVE.
Nearly 30 restaurants and specialty foods were in attendance. I was in a bit of culinary ADD, not knowing where to go next. I arrived a little late due to flying in from Atlanta but luckily, I was able to experience most of the event. Guests judged the various courses by donating a dollar which proceeds benefited science education programs and community scholarships. The restaurant with the most dollars at the end of the night won 1st, 2nd, 3rd and fan favorite.

Texas de Brazil on UrbanspoonIn my eyes, first place would have easily gone to Texas de Brazil who served their famous flank steak with chimichuri sauce over garlic mashed potatoes. It was delicious and really showed what Texas de Brazil is all about. Meat and Flavor. Although Texas de Brazil is one of our top 3 favorite date night restaurants, I am not playing favorites. They brought out the big guns this night with their flavors.

Shells on UrbanspoonFirst place went to Shells Seafood. I haven't been to a Shells in ages - we used to have one in Daytona that closed down in the 90's. When we moved to Tampa, both Gabe and I were pleasantly shocked to see they were still around. They won first for their clam chowder which I heard multiple people raving about. The chowder was gone by the time I arrived to their station.  I blame Fabio. So I snagged a photo of Shells shell fish, no pun intended.
Timpano Chophouse and Martini Bar on UrbanspoonTimpano Chophouse of Tampa, took home second place with Italian meatballs which was the first dish I tried of the evening. They were a delicious hit. Although I have been to Timpano quite a few times, I have never tried their Italian cuisine. I will give it a try next time for sure.
Italian Meatballs
Toffee to Go on UrbanspoonThird place went to a local specialty food, Toffee to Go. Toffee to Go is made in Tampa and is the best Toffee I have ever had, hands down. I had the pleasure of chatting with Toffee to Go owners, Lisa and Jim who informed me that this is a handed down family recipe which has turned into a family business. I have a Toffee weakness and I may find myself in trouble with this delicious treat.
Toffee to Go
Brio Tuscan Grille on UrbanspoonFan favorite, Brio Italian offered two of my favorite items on their menu, Pasta Ala Vodka (swoon) and a Spicy Shrimp in black pepper cream sauce. I am a huge fan of Brio, especially their Happy Hour. The Spicy Shrimp in black pepper cream sauce is served on their $3.95 bar menu (served along crispy eggplant). It is delicious. The Pasta Ala Vodka is hands down my favorite item on their menu. To say I was a happy girl with their selections is an understatement :)
Pasta Ala Vodka
Not Your Ordinary Food Truck on UrbanspoonAlong with a multitude of restaurants and foods available during the event, a few food trucks also made an appearance. There is one food truck I have had the urge to try and could never get up the courage - Not Your Ordinary Food Truck. NYO takes wild game and turns it into culinary magic. After a few glasses of liquid courage, I headed out to inquire what was being served:
Wild Game Poutine
"Wild Game Poutine". The Poutine consisted of Red Potato Fries, topped with real Canadian cheese curds. Topped with NYO sauce made with (but not limited to) rendered duck fat, smoked ground camel, smoked ground Llama, smoked ground kangaroo, smoked ground buffalo, smoked ground venison, smoked ground wild boar, smoked ground antelope, and finally chunks of kangaroo. Got your attention now? It was good - really really good. Shockingly good. Damned good. I ate a kangaroo.
 I did find myself a new favorite under $10 bottle of wine while at the event, Frontera Chardonnay from Central Valley. Next time I am out to buy wine, I am making a special trip to ABC to grab a bottle of this goodness. My Mom was also introduced to Mumm Rose and fell in love. I may have to buy my Mom a bottle of Mumm for Mothers Day.
We were able to dance, chat with friends, eat a lot of food, drink too much wine and have an amazing time all benefiting a good cause. It felt good to have this much fun while supporting education. This event was one of the better ones I have attended in a very long time and I look forward to going next year. Trust me when I say, this is one event you want to put on your calendar.

7 comments:

  1. Fantastic event for sure! I wish you would have been able to have a bit more of the food- clearly there were some popular items that didn't stick around for long (darn it, brownie bites...they were so scrumptious)! But luckily, Timpano, Texas de Brazil, and Brio's selections were able to be enjoyed. I loved those little pasta satchels from Brio: so pretty!

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  2. Thank you, very cool of you! We ate glad you enjoyed!

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  3. Thank you, very cool of you! We ate glad you enjoyed!

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  4. This is awesome!! Another reason to live in Tampa! I am jealous!

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  5. I am jealous!!! This looked like such a fun time. I wish I was in town with you this weekend. Next year!

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  6. Meg - I had a great time at this event! Mosi did an amazing job with everything. Love, your Mumm.

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  7. Sounds like a blast! Great write-up! Sad I had to miss it. I've never gone to Brio before but you definitely have me craving it now. Not so sure I could've downed that Wild game poutine..yikes! But props to you for being brave...and as your slightly hippie friend, I will forgive you ;)

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